The 1st Tai Tsuku

The first Tai Tsuku opens the door to Shao­lin Kem­po, at least accord­ing to my inter­pre­ta­ti­on. In the style I teach the­re are five Tai Tsuku, six Sifat (which are actual­ly one long, cohe­rent form) and five Kem­po forms (which are often cal­led mas­ter forms).

The first Tai Tsuku is requi­red for the yel­low belt. Still and more and more it is one of my favou­rite kata, becau­se it is the one I have exer­cis­ed most often and I have sha­red all the chan­ges my Kem­po has expe­ri­en­ced over the years with it and tried it out on it. In this respect the­re is no “final Kata”, no finis­hed form, becau­se it is always an expres­si­on of my under­stan­ding of my mar­ti­al art.

The ori­gin of Tai Tsuku is not clear. In Sho­rin Kem­po Ryu by Olaf Bock the­re is the Tasi Yoko, also one of the Shao­lin Kem­po kata. It is also divi­ded into indi­vi­du­al parts and prac­ticed until it beco­mes a com­ple­te form. But espe­ci­al­ly our fourth Tai Tsuku is obvious­ly based on the Ch’uan Fa, ano­t­her of the Shao­lin Kem­po kata. My guess is that Tai Tsuku is com­po­sed of frag­ments of dif­fe­rent forms and dif­fe­rent levels of know­ledge. Typi­cal for Shao­lin Kem­po :-).

But I don’t care, becau­se the Tai Tsuku are firm and very beau­ti­ful com­pon­ents of the Lung Chuan Fa style. And each of them also con­veys move­ment and figh­t­ing princi­ples and the­re­fo­re has its didac­tic jus­ti­fi­ca­ti­on.

The first Tai Tsuku con­sists of 14 con­se­cu­ti­ve stan­ces with com­bi­ned fist tech­ni­ques, so it is rather a short kata. In my first Kem­po pha­se I tried to per­form it exac­t­ly, hard and as power­ful as pos­si­ble. The har­der I locked in the stan­ces, the more “Kime”, i.e. figh­t­ing spi­rit and power, was attested to me. The stan­ce heights have hard­ly chan­ged. The ima­gi­na­ry oppo­nent was “shot down” with strai­ght, almost line­ar move­ments, the stan­ces were exe­cu­t­ed as low as pos­si­ble.

After I got to know the princip­le of the “vibra­ting hip”, i.e. the hori­zon­tal rota­ti­on of the hip to achie­ve more ten­si­on and thus more power, the first Tai Tsuku beca­me even more power­ful. During this time I also star­ted to under­stand blocks as a pos­si­bi­li­ty to hit. An Age Uke for examp­le can also be a mas­si­ve forearm punch into the arm­pit or under the chin.

When I got to know the art of Silat, Niki Sand­rock and later sen­sei Olaf Bock, my view of the first Tai Tsuku chan­ged once again signi­fi­cant­ly. Now it is not the final results that count, but the move­ment towards them. In addi­ti­on to the hori­zon­tal hip move­ment, a ver­ti­cal wave move­ment through the body now also gains in impor­t­an­ce. Sup­ple­ness and chan­ging stand heights are important. The strokes no lon­ger all come as strai­ght as pos­si­ble, but now and then also in up and down move­ment to the tar­get. In a real fight this way you achie­ve a much har­der, more pain­ful hit.

In the mean­ti­me it is also no lon­ger so important to stand as low as pos­si­ble. On the one hand this has to do with get­ting older, becau­se ath­le­ti­cism sim­ply decrea­ses. But on the other hand it is also not a way of “figh­t­ing”. And final­ly every Kata, thus also the 1st Tai Tsuku, is a shadow fight against ima­gi­na­ry oppon­ents. Whoever fights, doe­s­n’t stand maxi­mal­ly low, other­wi­se he gets away bad­ly from the spot. And it is healt­hi­er for the kne­es any­way.

Through all the­se deve­lop­ments “my” first Tai Tsuku with its few sin­gle tech­ni­ques and clear step dia­gram accom­pa­nied me. And it will pro­bab­ly always remain a mea­su­re of my per­so­nal deve­lop­ment in the mar­ti­al arts. The ori­gi­nal meter of Kata so to speak. 🙂

For the video of the 1st Tai Tsuku just click on the pic­tu­re!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.